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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 22,
1999. All rights reserved.
For Women, Fundraising Can Be a Good Career
If it is your business to raise money, you know all
the reasons why it’s good to dig deep into your pocket and give, give,
give. But do you do it? These women have. They belong to Women in
Development in Mercer County, a professional organization for those
in fundraising positions. Men can attend meetings but this is
a female group.
"The organization started in the living room of a couple of women
— Alison Lahnston, Florence Kahn, Janice Roddenbery, and
Diane Unruh, among others," says Gina Spagnoli
year’s WID president and Rider University’s development director.
"Now the group has close to 150 members."
"We felt there was a real need for women in this profession to
network, share views, and become professionalized," says Florence
Kahn, the first president of WID. She was director of development
for Planned Parenthood and campaign director for a collaboration of
environmental groups successfully working to preserve lands owned
by the Institute for Advanced Study. Now she has her own business.
"We have mentored a lot of women. It is a field that is very good
for woman, and WID is something that is very needed."
Spagnoli says the most important project for WID this year is to start
a fund for women and girls at the Princeton Area Community Foundation
(PACF). "The fund has surpassed the $50,000 mark, and it will
support women and girls in Mercer County. Our members were among those
who stepped up to the plate with four figure gifts. We hope others
in the community will step forward and add to that fund," she
The initial impetus for WID was to provide networking, training, and
career growth. "Many organizations don’t have funds to send
officers to national conferences to learn about planned giving,
campaigns, major gift funding, and retaining a staff, for instance.
These conferences are quite costly," says Spagnoli.
On Thursday, January 27, at 8 a.m. at the Hun School, Jane
executive director of the Association of Junior Leagues International,
will discuss "Changing the Culture of Your Organization to Support
Fund Raising." "How Women Choose to Give: Gender Differences
in Financial and Gift Planning" is the topic for Cindy
director of gift planning at Vassar College on Thursday, March 16,
at Rider University. The Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic hosts
the meeting on Tuesday, April 4, featuring Jane McAllister,
a principal at Heidrick and Struggles, on "Working with an
Search Firm to Build Your Career." "Fund Raising and Friend
Raising on the Web" will be covered by Laura Blanchard,
electronic publishing specialist at the University of Pennsylvania
Library, on Thursday, May 25.
Meetings are free and everyone "brownbags" their lunch or
breakfast, with the host organization providing beverages. After the
first meeting, women are encouraged to join the organization, which
has minimal dues of $25 per year. Call Judy Feldman at
for information about attending as a guest.
Anyone with high hopes, a bundle of energy, and an
mission statement can launch a nonprofit or charitable organization,
but that won’t keep the government grants, corporate funding, and
individual donations coming in. A sound budget, and varied sources
of revenues, are just as important to an organization’s survival as
its mission statement.
The New Jersey Grants Guide, an 800-page publication put out by the
Center for Non-Profit Corporations, and published by Grants Guides
Plus (888-2GRANT9, http://www.grantseeker.com/ggp, $149), is a
for the New Jersey charity or nonprofit organization seeking to raise
money through grants and contracts. Sections include Foundation and
Philanthropic Trusts, Corporation Foundation and Giving Programs,
State Government Departments and Agencies, Religious Funders, and
a toolkit for grantseeking.
When soliciting funds, the writers warn, be sure to avoid certain
pitfalls and observe certain rules of the game:
that funds will materialize to support those goals. Instead, identify
expected revenues, such as restricted and unrestricted contributions,
corporate and foundation grants, membership, special events, umbrella
funds distribution, memorials, product sales, government grants or
sources — grants, contracts, fees, interest income, and corporate
grants, for example.
is in a recession, for example, don’t anticipate receiving as many
grants as you might otherwise. If the nation is in an inflationary
period, factor in higher costs for rent, travel, and salaries.
the numerical budget was developed. For example, if local industries
are about to close, that would explain why your itemized line for
corporate donations may be small. The narrative should reflect the
goals of your organization, but also intent to increase revenues.
opportunities on the Web. Among the better known websites for
opportunities is the Foundation Center, http://www.fdncenter.org ,
has links to individual grantmaking institutions as well as news,
and an online version of the application form used by a number of
New York and New Jersey-based grantmakers available online. Other
popular sites include GrantScape,
and FedWorld, http://www.fedworld.gov, which provides
all government agencies.
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